Leading through burnout: The influence of emotional intelligence on the ability of executive level physician leaders to cope with occupational stress and burnout
Physician leadership has been endorsed as a critical component of successful healthcare transformation, and emerging evidence suggests that physician leaders offer a competitive advantage to their organizations. Healthcare executive level leadership roles are inherently stressful, and the transition from a clinical environment to an executive level administrative environment generates unique pressures and challenges for physician leaders that non-physician leaders may not experience. When proper coping skills are not present, occupational stress can have a negative impact on a physician leader’s ability to lead effectively and may impact their emotional and physical wellbeing. This mixed methods study explored the perceptions of 35 Chief Medical Officers (CMOs) regarding their experiences with occupational stress and the influence of emotional intelligence (EI) on their ability to cope with the demands and pressures of their role. The primary method of data collection focused on in-depth interviews, and the interviews were supported with quantitative data using the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) to measure CMOs’ perceived level of stress, emotional exhaustion, cynicism, and professional efficacy. Qualitative data was analyzed using an inductive thematic analysis process as well as a deductive thematic analysis process using the Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI) model to code the data. Three key findings emerged from this study: 1) EI competencies serve as an effective personal resource that contributes to a CMO’s ability to deal with work-related stress and prevent burnout; 2) CMOs are experiencing high levels of stress, but it is not leading to burnout; and 3) self-efficacy serves as an effective personal resource that contributes to a CMO’s ability to deal with work-related stress and prevent burnout. This study offers an increased awareness of the sources of CMOs’ stress and contributes to an understanding of how emotional intelligence competencies and self-efficacy serve as effective personal resources in the stress appraisal and coping processes. Keywords: stress, occupational stress, coping, burnout, emotional intelligence
Wiens, Kandi J, "Leading through burnout: The influence of emotional intelligence on the ability of executive level physician leaders to cope with occupational stress and burnout" (2016). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI10158565.